While Hefner has a life estate in the property, his wife, Crystal, does not.
In a statement, Playboy explained its unexpected move to sell the home. “This is the right time to seek a buyer for this incredible property who understands the role the Mansion has played for our brand and enables us to continue to reinvest in the transformation of our business,” said Playboy Enterprises chief executive Scott Flanders. “The Playboy Mansion has been a creative center for Hef as his residence and workplace for the past 40 years, as it will continue to be if the property is sold.”
Playboy announced last year that beginning in March the publication no longer will feature full nudity, part of a broader redesign of the magazine aimed at drawing younger readers.
The house is listed by Drew Fenton and Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland and Mauricio Umansky of The Agency. According to Gold, the house is already drawing a lot of interest. “Just the property itself, forget that it’s the Playboy Mansion, the property itself is the best lot on the best street in Los Angeles,” he said.
The 20,000-square-foot home has 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, a home theater, a wine cellar and a game house. The five-acre property also includes a tennis court, a swimming pool and a guest house with four bedrooms. The property, which is home to many exotic birds and monkeys, also is among a few houses in Los Angeles that has a zoo license.
Playboy bought the mansion for $1.1 million in 1971, the biggest real estate transaction at the time. Gold and his partners say they hope they can make another historic transaction with the property this time around.